20th Century Fox has acquired the pitch for an action-weather film (new genre!) Riders on the Storm. Deadline reports that the film will be written by screenwriter Sean O’Keefe (the video game Lair), and the story centers on a heist crew that pulls off major robberies during severe weather events. Apparently tornadoes make the general public turn a blind eye to thievery. The project actually originated as a video game concept by Richard Wickcliffe, but then Union Entertainment morphed the property into a feature film because why not? I actually think the idea could work as a fairly entertaining video game (dodge the flying debris from the hurricane to get to the money!), but the concept as a feature film just sounds downright moronic. Do we really need another string of weather/disaster-related pics like the Twister/Dante’s Peak/Volcano boom from the 90′s?
THR is reporting that director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is in negotiations to direct an Alaskan adventure project for Walden Media which will be written by Sean O’Keefe and Will Staples (writers of the video games Pursuit Force and Lair). The film, which used to go by Ice Bound when it was being developed by Miramax, is currently untitled but will be based on The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic. The book by Gay and Laney Salisbury tells the true story of the 674-mile journey that was undertaken by 20 men and 200 dogs when they had to rush an antidote to Nome, Alaska in 1925.
I still have hopes for Gavin Hood since I loved his Foreign Oscar-winning film. Tsotsi, but his films since then (Wolverine, Rendition) disappointed me. I will still continue to anticipate whatever he does next, though. I can see him making a truly epic adventure film with this if the studio lets him do what he wants so that we can avoid another Wolverine-kind of debacle.